When comparing Enlightenment vs dwm, the Slant community recommends dwm for most people. In the question“What are the best window managers for Linux?” dwm is ranked 5th while Enlightenment is ranked 19th. The most important reason people chose dwm is:
Dwm is part of the [suckless suite of tools](http://suckless.org/), and encourages users to extend and configure it by modifying the code itself. To this end, dwm is kept under 2000 SLOC, and is an exemplar of clean, readable code (C). This, while giving users all the flexibility they could ask for, also makes dwm as lightweight as possible, and means that users have a full understanding of how it works.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro No programming experience required to configure the environment
Configuring the environment of Enlightenment is done through a UI, so no prior knowledge of coding languages or editing of config files is needed.
Pro Beautiful interface
Enlightenment offers a beautiful interface with eye candy: it can be themed easily to the user's liking and includes an optional compositor.
Pro Quick mouse-driven menus
Enlightenments menu is easily and quickly accessible by left-clicking anywhere on the desktop.
Pro Fast and good with battery life
Great for laptops.
Pro Virtual desktop previews
Enlightenment allows for virtual desktop previews within its desktop widget for switching desktops within its thumbnails.
Pro Unique workspace set ups
You could have a screen cluttered with panels and another with none.. A feature that is easy with enlightenment.
Pro Lots of themes available
There is a large selection of themes available for the Enlightenment window manager, meaning that customization to one's preference is very straight-forward.
Pro Lightning fast
Startup of e is lightning fast -- as it is during working with the WM.
Pro Easy on ressources
Doesn't use much RAM and doesn't hog your CPU.
Pro Havn't found a WM that beats e16 in 20 years.
I've been using e16 for about 20 years and tried quite some other WMs, but always returned back to e16. It's fast, doesn't use much resources, is highly customizable and is rock solid (I cannot remember it crashing). It's combination of simplicity and beauty is unmatched.
The default theme on e16 is kinda disappointing. Try B-42 or Dark-One.
Be careful if you enable Composite. It works flawless, but you can screw your menus when playing around with the transparent settings in the settings menu. Making a backup-copy of your .e16 preferences beforehand might save you some trouble.
Pro Highly customizable, easy customization
There's a ton of settings stacked into a quite compact settings menu that is easy to navigate.
Pro Encourages user modification
Dwm is part of the suckless suite of tools, and encourages users to extend and configure it by modifying the code itself. To this end, dwm is kept under 2000 SLOC, and is an exemplar of clean, readable code (C). This, while giving users all the flexibility they could ask for, also makes dwm as lightweight as possible, and means that users have a full understanding of how it works.
Pro Simple and small
Dwm is a low-resource window manager that is entirely simplistic in design.
Pro Default keybindings and functionality are very useful and well thought-out
An example of this is the application of alt-tab to switch between two tags.
Pro Application grouping with tags
Dwm's design paradigm is to use tags to group clients (applications) that can then be pulled into a view (workspace); this allows you to view multiple clients at once and to assign or reassign those tags and their related views on the fly.
Contrary to most other window managers, when you view a tag you are not ‘visiting’ a workspace: you are pulling the tagged windows into a single workspace.
Combined with rules in the
config.h, this makes for a flexible and responsive means to manage your workflow.
Pro Easy to configure
Configuring dwm is straight-forward thanks to its config.h file (though it will have to be rebuilt for the effects to take place).
Pro Useful and informative status bar
The dwm status bar can be set to display all kinds of useful information, such as volume level, wifi signal strength, and battery notification.
Pro XRandR/Xinerama support
Dwm has support for XRandR and Xinerama, allowing for multi-monitor support.
Con Minimal set of utilities
Enlightenment only comes with the bare essentials, meaning there is little that can be done upon first install in comparison to other more fully featured desktops. This does, however, leave all the customization of what apps to install up to the user, which may be a plus to some and is directly comparable to most other bare bones Window managers.
Con e16 has to be compiled from source
e16 packages seem to be no longer available in any distro. So you should at least be able to handle compiler warnings/errors and fix them, which in most cases is installing missing libraries.
Con Backlight and bluetooth can be hard to set up
There seem to be issues with some DRM laptops.
Con Sub-menu does not change direction when out of space
When you right-click for the menu in the right part of the screen but there is insufficient space for the cascading menu, you have to interrupt your selecting and move your pointer to touch the right edge of your screen - this manually moves the menu over to the left a little bit, so it has space. If there is a sub-menu, you have to once again move your pointer to the extreme right edge of the screen, for it to move over - and so on, for each level of sub-menu.
Every other OS and app/program in the world today, simply changes direction to where the sub-menus cascade. Whether that be upwards because it's too close to the bottom (we see this in the selection menus in our browsers in forms, or to change sides as we are accustomed to in all programs). This is logical, universal, expected behavior. But not in e17.
Con Not many themes for enlightenment
... and most of them are not really beautiful. For example, a Dark-One on e16 has a simple and clean look and is really beautiful (if you like dark themes).
Con Ugly default theme
The default theme is rather ugly so it's necessary to apply a new theme as soon as you install Enlightenment.
Overlaps and spaces between windows are both pointless.
Con No runtime config file
There is no config file that can be edited after the window manager is compiled: all changes need to be made prior to compiling.
Con By developers, for developers
Basic knowledge of C language, general programming, and compilation are all required.